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A Father's Day story of one dad's lasting influence on his son


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

John Yang: Finally, tonight for Father's Day, an animated feature from our partners at StoryCorps, Dr. William Lynn Weaver, are renowned surgeon helped integrate a Knoxville High School in 1964. Even in those difficult times, he said he felt safe and supported thanks to his father, Ted Weaver, who worked long hours as a janitor and chauffeur. Dr. Weaver who died in 2019 remembered his father's influence in this 2007 conversation with his daughter, Kimberly.

Dr. William Lynn Weaver: My father was everything to me. And it's actually kind of difficult, talking about him without becoming very emotional. But until, you know, he had every decision I made, I'd always call him. And he would never tell me what to do. But he would always listen and say, well, what do you want to do? And he made me feel that I could do anything that I wanted to do.

I can remember when we integrated to schools that there were many times when I was just scared. And I didn't think that I would survive, and I'd look up and he'd be there. And whenever I saw him, I knew that I was safe. You know, I always tell you that your mom was the smartest person I've ever met. But I think my father ranks right up there as brilliant.

When I was in high school, I was taking algebra. And I was sitting at the kitchen table trying to do my homework. And I got frustrated. So I just can't figure this out. I'm just my father said what's the problem? He came by? He's what's the problem? And I said, as this algebra and he said, well, let me look at I said that they didn't have algebra in your day.

And I went to sleep. At around four o'clock that morning, he woke me up. He said, Come on, son get up. He set me at the kitchen table. And he taught me algebra. What he had done is set up all night and read the algebra book. And then he explained the problems to me, so I could do and understand.

And to this day, I live my life trying to be half the man my father was, just after me (ph). And I will be a success if my children love me half as much as I love my father.

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